Surgical outcomes of open and laser interstitial thermal therapy approaches for corpus callosotomy in pediatric epilepsy

Diane J. Aum, Rebecca A. Reynolds, Sean McEvoy, Stuart Tomko, John Zempel, Jarod L. Roland, Matthew D. Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Corpus callosotomy (CC) is a palliative surgical intervention for patients with medically refractory epilepsy that has evolved in recent years to include a less-invasive alternative with the use of laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT). LITT works by heating a stereotactically placed laser fiber to ablative temperatures under real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) thermometry. This study aims to (1) describe the surgical outcomes of CC in a large cohort of children with medically refractory epilepsy, (2) compare anterior and complete CC, and (3) review LITT as a surgical alternative to open craniotomy for CC. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 103 patients <21 years of age with at least 1 year follow-up at a single institution between 2003 and 2021. Surgical outcomes and the comparative effectiveness of anterior vs complete and open versus LITT surgical approaches were assessed. Results: CC was the most common surgical disconnection (65%, n = 67) followed by anterior two-thirds (35%, n = 36), with a portion proceeding to posterior completion (28%, n = 10). The overall surgical complication rate was 6% (n = 6/103). Open craniotomy was the most common approach (87%, n = 90), with LITT used increasingly in recent years (13%, n = 13). Compared to open, LITT had shorter hospital stay (3 days [interquartile range (IQR) 2–5] vs 5 days [IQR 3–7]; p <.05). Modified Engel class I, II, III, and IV outcomes at last follow-up were 19.8% (n = 17/86), 19.8% (n = 17/86), 40.2% (n = 35/86), and 19.8% (n = 17/86). Of the 70 patients with preoperative drop seizures, 75% resolved postoperatively (n = 52/69). Significance: No significant differences in seizure outcome between patients who underwent only anterior CC and complete CC were observed. LITT is a less-invasive surgical alternative to open craniotomy for CC, associated with similar seizure outcomes, lower blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and lower complication rates, but with longer operative times, when compared with the open craniotomy approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2274-2285
Number of pages12
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • LITT
  • callosotomy
  • epilepsy
  • seizure


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